Rivero struck out two in a perfect eighth inning Tuesday to notch his 12th hold of the season in a win over the Phillies. He had some bumps earlier in May, but Rivero has now reeled off eight straight scoreless appearances with a 9:0 K:BB over 7.1 innings during that stretch. He's settled in as one of Jonathan Papelbon's primary setup men, and Rivero should be a solid source of holds moving forward.
Rivero struck out two in a perfect inning of work during Monday's win over the Tigers. He's had an uneven and somewhat unlucky start to his campaign, which is reflected in his 4.76 ERA, but Rivero's 0.94 WHIP and 21:5 K:BB in 17 innings are a better indication of his talent level. Nats manager Dusty Baker continues to use him as one of his primary setup men, so Rivero should be a solid source of holds going forward while also picking up the occasional save when closer Jonathan Papelbon is unavailable.
Rivero picked up his first save of 2016, as he recorded the final out with a strikeout Tuesday against the Braves. Jonathan Papelbon pitched in Washington's wins Sunday and Monday, so Dusty Baker let the rest of the bullpen close out a two-run lead Tuesday against Atlanta. Rivero gave up an RBI double to Kelly Johnson to get the tying run to second base, but he got Mallex Smith to strike out swinging to finish the save. Rivero was in for left-handed matchups against Johnson and Smith, so don't read too much into him getting the first non-Papelbon save of the season for Washington.
Rivero pitched 1.1 innings and tossed three strikeouts in Wednesday's spring training game against the Marlins. During four spring training appearances, Rivero has thrown 4.1 innings while striking out seven and limiting opposing batters to a .200 average. The only blemish against the lefty was giving up three hits and two earned runs against the Marlins on Mar. 7. Rivero will be a big part of the Nationals' bullpen this season after getting chances to close games at the end of last year.
Nationals reliever Felipe Rivero earned his first career save Thursday, pitching two flawless innings with two strikeouts against the Braves. He needed only 23 pitches (16 of them strikes) to cruise through the two frames. It's nice that Rivero is getting rewarded with late-season save chances thanks to Jonathan Papelbon's temper, as the rookie's done terrific work out of the Nats' bullpen this year, with an impressive 0.97 WHIP to go with his 2.85 ERA.